Alia Thabit Traditional and Avant-Garde Belly Dance

Tired of competition, everyone looks alike, perma-grin hell?

It’s tough, because most of us have been raised with Western dance aesthetics and values. Western values applaud precision, athleticism, and choreography. Many of the issues in our dance come from imposing Western values upon it. But…

Belly dance is Eastern. It has EASTERN aesthetics and values (by Eastern, I mean the near and middle east rather than Asia). Eastern values applaud relaxation, improvisation, and shared joy.

But it’s not so easy to learn how to do this. Where do you even start? 

That’s why I wrote this book.

Wouldn’t you love to enjoy dancing? To embrace the feeling? To share joy?

You can!


Midnight at the Crossroads  Has belly dance sold its soul?

A book by Alia Thabit
with 40+ illustrations by the author

The designer has begun work on the book. That means it’s ready to pre-order.

What book? Read on! (Morocco cried at the end because she’d found a kindred spirit.)

Belly dance…
A magical phrase, it conjures images of sultry harem girls, exotic perfume, tinkling finger cymbals, and undulating hips. People are so drawn to this imagery one can rarely find mention of the dance that doesn’t evoke it. Yet this trope is only one facet of the jewel that is belly dance. Why do millions of people love this beautiful, joyous dance?

Belly dance has many facets. People see and use the dance in many ways. It is a movement vocabulary, a way to express sensuality, a venue for perfectionism, a sexy treat for the male gaze, a pretty bauble, an elastic medium adaptable to anyone’s preconceptions and values. It is a fun way to get exercise, a dress-up opportunity, a bonding experience. It is entertainment, even art. But as we delve deeply into the dance, we find so much more than this.

What secret does belly dance carry, deep in its wild heart?

This book makes the case for Oriental dance not only as a beautiful dance but also one that is soul enriching, spirit-healing, a legitimate mind-body practice that equals (and in some ways surpasses), yoga, tai-chi, sitting meditation, etc., in its effectiveness and power.


Sparkly little belly dance has immense power. People are drawn to it because they sense this, though they may not know how to access it. When they come to a class, they are often taught a sterilized version–stylized, choreographed, counted, body-control to recorded music. This is not the dance they were looking for. But it’s all they can find, all that’s available, so okay.

It is not okay with me. I am here to shine a light on the magic and mystery of our dance. There is far more to this dance than meets the eye, and those less-visible elements are its most vital and rewarding–for dancers, musicians, guests, and the world.

This book is a love letter to the dance that has nourished me for forty years. It is a manifesto, the conclusions to which I have come over four decades of devotion to this dance. It is for those who want something deep and real. It is given as a beacon of light welcoming dancers home to the soul of their beloved dance.

We are drawn to this dance because we feel something from it, something deep. It is real. It is there. The dance waits for you, a hidden seed, trembling with life, ready to blossom in your heart. It is filled with joy–beautiful, loving, and free–and so are you.

I invite you to step into your joy… 

* * *   

Pre-order the book

Want more information?
Check out the Table of Contents.

The book is divided into three sections, Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3. They are all parts of the whole, and ordering the book gets you everything in the Contents.

Book 1: The Feeling in the Moment

  1. What is Belly Dance?
  •   The difference between East and West
  •   Technique is the servant of expression
  1. Music Made Visible
  • Creating music in the moment
  • Creating dance in the moment
  • Putting it all together
  •  Joy
  1. The East
  2. Culture Clash
  • East comes West
  • The Golden Age of Greektown, USA
  • The rise of “Tribal Style”    
  • The other Golden Age: cinema style
  • What else 9/11 destroyed
  • What Arabs? The globalization of belly dance

Book 2: Different Every Time

  1. The Tyranny of the Visual
  • Tick-tock technique
  • You call that dance?
  • The problem with precision
  • What about a group?
  1. The Same Every Time
  • The flaming Jekyll-Hyde of belly dance
  • Blame the victim: How students help destroy the dance
  • How to magically transmit wonder
  1. Through the Door
  • Rote movement
  • How meaning creates emotion
  • The place of copying
  • Walk the line
  1. SEX
  • The transformation
  • Shifting sands
  • Our baggage
  • Sex and dance
  • Solutions

Book 3: Bring the Joy.
Belly dance for mind, body, and soul

  1. Improvisation—the belly dance bête noire
  2. Mind
  • Dancing makes you smarter
  • The diffusion factor
  • Changing your mind(set)
  1. Body: The Lock
  • Improvisation and fear
  • The trauma process
  • How trauma is resolved
  • How I got into all this
  1. Body: The Key
  • Answers–from an expert
  • How belly dance facilitates trauma healing
  1. Soul
  • Many kinds of technique
  • Connection to the Divine
  • Mind-body practice
  1. Midnight at the Crossroads
    Where do we go from here?

Appendix: How to Use This Book

Practice: The door to healing, soul, and joy    

If you’d like, you may read Chapter One for free: a 20+ page pdf, with illustrations, bonus book info, and more. Enter an email, and boom–instant access to the file: Read Chapter One Now

Pre-order the book, along with some cool swag. 

  • Ebook (your choice of pdf, .mobi (for kindle), or .epub (for nook, overdrive, etc)
    This is a high-quality, professional ebook. Files for any device along with detailed instructions for adding the file to your device.
  • Audio Book (ships two weeks after print books). Quality recording read by the author. Detailed instructions for adding the file to your device.
  • Midnight tote bag. A super nice black tote bag (100% recycled PET, made in USA. Beautiful fabric, super-strong, wears like iron). Cover graphic in white with red accents.
  • Print paperback book. High-quality, professionally-designed print book PLUS Elbi postcard.
  • Signed, personalized, HARDCOVER book plus 5 Elbi postcards (preorder special. I’ll make one order of these hardcovers and when they’re gone, they’re gone).
  • VIP Invitation for two to the launch party in NYC. Live music, performances, and open floor dance. Date TBA
  • EVERYTHING: The ebook, audio book, tote bag, signed hardcover book, five postcards, and VIP invite!

Special BONUS!
Get a 30 Day Practice Challenge FREE–Includes Facebook group for mentoring and camaraderie. 

If you have any trouble at all with the buy buttons, please contact me right away. Thanks!

Midnight at the Crossroads

Early-bird PRE-ORDER prices

Thanks for your interest in Midnight!
Ebook (your choice of pdf, .mobi (for kindle), or .epub (for nook, overdrive, etc)$25.36 USD
Audio Book (ships two weeks after print books).$25.36

Midnight tote bag. A super nice black tote bag (seriously) with cover graphic in white + hand-colored red accents. Deluxe fabric made from recycled soda bottles. PLUS Elbi postcard$29.42 USD
Print paperback book. PLUS Elbi postcard!$34.83 USD
Signed, personalized, HARDCOVER book plus 5 Elbi postcards (preorder special)$54.96 USD

EVERYTHING: ebook, audio book, tote bag, signed hardcover book, and five postcards$120.37 USD

International shipping
Add this to your cart if ordering print book or tote bag from outside the USA (shipping within the USA is free). Thank you.
$10.01 USD

Please note: This principles and strategies in this book have the potential to change your dance–and your life. All for the cost of a two hour workshop. That’s a modest investment for joy. It’s worth it.